Today you legally joined our family and will now share our last name. To us, this is a formality as you actually joined our family months ago. You became our son the moment we heard the news that you were arriving.
I wrote to your brother before he arrived, but somehow you joined us before I had the chance to do the same for you. I’m actually glad though. This way, I get to tell you a little more about how you already fit into our family. There are a few things you should know about your adoption, the family you’re joining, your birth family, and about life.
First, we are amazed by you. We did not plan for you. We were not expecting to adopt again especially within a year of your brother! We didn’t know we needed you. But it is clear to us every time we look at your sweet face, that we did, in fact, need you in our lives. I also want to be clear: unplanned does not mean unwanted. You are the most amazing surprise. I have a feeling you will bring balance to our family. You and your brother are going to have so much fun. He has a big personality and is loving life and I hope you develop the same sense of wonder as he’s showing. You already love watching his antics so I have a feeling you two will share the same zest for fun and laughter.
We want you to be raised in a house full of love and full of laughter. This isn’t always easy for us since your sister, Zoey, died. Her loss is felt in our home every day. She was a beautiful spirit and a beautiful soul and that’s what we want you to know about her. She showed us what the love between a parent and child should be like. And we hope we are better parents to you because of that love. We can’t always control or plan the moments that grief catches us so you will see us crying or you’ll watch the pain cross our faces. We want you to know that sadness is normal. It’s a part of our life and will be a part of yours at times as well, but love is worth it. We know there will always be heartache, but that does not diminish the joy you have brought to us. We’ve often said that grief and joy dance together. We need both and you help fulfill that need.
We also know you have another family out in the world. While you won’t be raised by your birth mother and birth father, we want you to know they love you too. We saw it firsthand when we were in the hospital for your delivery and the days they spent with you following your birth. We are obviously thrilled they chose us to raise you, but we also understand that you will have questions about why they chose adoption. We will go into more detail as you get older and I know the answers won’t always be easy to share or easy to hear. We don’t know everything, but we will share as honestly as possible what we do know. But please always remember that love was the driving force. I don’t know what the future holds for your relationship with your birth parents or siblings, but we will guide you and help you the best way we can.
We also want you to know that we’ll do our best to help you learn about your culture and heritage. It’s a new world for us, and I’m sure we will fail at times. There are parts of who you are that we will never completely understand, but we will do our best to find mentors and guidance when needed. We will try and we promise to change, learn and grow along with you.
Every adoption story is different. Every family must do what they think is best for them and their children. Even your journey will vary from your brother’s. We will navigate it the best way we can. We will probably make mistakes along the way, but we want you to remember that we are doing the best we can. We know there will be room for improvement and if you feel we are failing in any way, we want you to be honest. We will reach out for help, we will try something new. We want you to feel safe and secure in your story, in our family, and in your place in the world.
We know that our job is to protect you, guide you, and most of all to love you. We also know that we can’t protect you from everything. The world you have entered is sometimes harsh. It’s sometimes ugly and it’s sometimes really hard to take. As we’ve learned, loving others inevitably leads to heartbreak. We want you to know it is worth it. We would do it all again for the moments we shared with your sister. And we hope the fear of loss doesn’t keep you from loving deeply. We want you to take any moment that’s difficult and use it to become resilient and empathetic. And we will continue to believe that love wins. It’s stronger than hate, stronger than fear, stronger than grief. It’s the most powerful thing we have.
Welcome to the family, Jordan. We love you.